A carer is facing a jail sentence after a fraud trial jury was shown footage of her bed-ridden victim’s police interview.
Multiple sclerosis sufferer Christine Noad died in hospital last November, but back in March 2014 she was interviewed by police in her own home about allegations that Lorraine Furness had been carrying out a cheque fraud which netted her almost £22,000.
Furness, 51, of Tichbourne Street, Liversedge, went on trial earlier this week at Bradford Crown Court after she denied 11 charges of fraud by false representation involving more than 100 cheques over a period between April 2007 and February 2014.
But the trial ended unexpectedly when Furness, who had no previous convictions, changed her pleas to guilty on the second day of the hearing.
Judge David Hatton QC indicated that Furness could face a maximum of two years in prison for the offending, but she was granted bail until her sentencing hearing at the end of this month.
At the start of the trial prosecutor Nadim Bashir described how Mrs Noad was bed-ridden and unable to move without assistance.
Mrs Noad, who lived in Halifax Road, Liversedge, died aged 76 and the court heard that at the time of the offending she was only able to leave her home if someone took her out in a wheelchair.
Furness was one of a number of different carers who assisted Mrs Noad and Mr Bashir said she had been employed by her victim for almost 20 years.
He alleged that Furness was in dire straits financially and resorted to fraud to fund her general lifestyle.
In the video recorded interview shown to the jury Mrs Noad told an investigating officer from her bed that Furness was always paid in cash and insisted that she had never given the defendant a cheque.
Mrs Noad said she used to lend Furness money with interest, which was always paid back, but she stopped doing that about two years previously.
The alleged offending came to light in February 2014 when Mrs Noad’s husband was contacted by staff at the NatWest bank and told that an account was about to go overdrawn.
He discovered that a number of cheques had been paid to Furness, but his wife told him that she had not made any loans to the defendant or given her permission to use her account.
“I have never, never given Lorraine Furness a cheque,” said Mrs Noad in her interview.